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Listen to Dickey Wells; I heard him many times and NOBODY sat further back on the beat than Dickey. Sometimes he seemed to be in the prior tune.
 

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First try playing ahead ahead right on.
See how fart ahead you can play and still no where you are.
Now purposely play every note late.
Feel and hear the difference.
If you can record it would help.
It's all about feeling the center of the beat and then straying a bit from it whole still feeling a connection to the middle.
 

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There is technique to playing behind the beat. Some tunes call for it much more than others. There's only so much you can play behind the beat on a fast swing tune as opposed to say a slow funky tune.

I just got back from my 'ye old local blues jam' and I tried a couple times to do some nice laid back phrasing. Got some 'yeah man' looks from the guitar player.

Bob Reynolds has a good video on this subject called "what is pocket?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBRQOvHDRds
 

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There is technique to playing behind the beat. Some tunes call for it much more than others. There's only so much you can play behind the beat on a fast swing tune as opposed to say a slow funky tune.
Rhythmic conception seems to vary more between players than tunes to me, and laying back can sound hip in a lot of contexts. For instance, Sonny Stitt always seems to play on top of or a little ahead of the beat, even on ballads and slow blues, whereas Dexter Gordon always seemed a little behind the beat, even on up-tempo tunes. For example, here's Dexter playing Cherokee with that slightly delayed time feel: https://youtu.be/15nKp-gBeIc?t=2531

For what it's worth, I've noticed that basic technique things like how your fingers lay and land on the keyboard can have a pretty significant impact on time feel during improvisation.
 

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Rhythmic conception seems to vary more between players than tunes to me, and laying back can sound hip in a lot of contexts. For instance, Sonny Stitt always seems to play on top of or a little ahead of the beat, even on ballads and slow blues, whereas Dexter Gordon always seemed a little behind the beat, even on up-tempo tunes. For example, here's Dexter playing Cherokee with that slightly delayed time feel: https://youtu.be/15nKp-gBeIc?t=2531

For what it's worth, I've noticed that basic technique things like how your fingers lay and land on the keyboard can have a pretty significant impact on time feel during improvisation.
I agree. But the degree is different. Those #pocket tunes sometimes that snare seems like it's about to hit on the beat after. Laid back swing soloing is very different than laid back modern playing.

Dilla high hats. that's my laid back.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My overall time is fine but my default is pushed if I don't pay attention. For me , on the beat feels way behind so thats a "feeling" I have to change in addition to the mechanics of pushing the keys down. But its all good. Beats working for a living k
 

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If one is in control of their time, they adjust to the tune. Sometimes it is appropriate to push time - high energy, driving charts, for instance. Hanging back off the other side of time is often more appropriate for slower tunes. Do this the other way ‘round, and you are either dragging or rushing. Context makes all the difference.

Knowing where the beat lies is the crux - only then can you determine what to do with it.
 

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I have noticed that a lot of musicians that primarily play in concert bands that do a lot of marches push the beat. If any one was in a marching band that played outside do you remember being taught to push the beat. Anyway this is just an observation of mine.
Also if the musician knows the part well they will rush through each passage or pattern and finish early.
Keith, I noticed that in the passage where you said you were on the beat that you tended to play more of a dotted eighth sixteenth as apposed to swing eighths.
 

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Listen to a lot of Dexter. That is how I got into it in college. I went through a 6 month Dexter phase where I was listening to him constantly. Pretty soon I was finding myself really laying back on the beat like he did. It wasn't something I practiced so much as just listened to a lot and started wanting to play that way. I think if you listen to it enough you start to hear it and feel it. If you don't listen to someone who does it I think it will be way harder to try to get it........
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Steve you commented on my time many many years ago in a private lesson. I still remember what you told me, 1. lay back 2. work on my mix bop scale and 3. add a V7 whole tone feel to a I minor vamp. You were and are a great teacher My best K
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also, I remember copying dex when I was playing tenor and taking lessons from Tim Price. Dex lays it back into the middle of last week. he's great K
 

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Steve you commented on my time many many years ago in a private lesson. I still remember what you told me, 1. lay back 2. work on my mix bop scale and 3. add a V7 whole tone feel to a I minor vamp. You were and are a great teacher My best K
Thanks!

If you want to play or listen to someone on alto Hank Crawford lays pretty far back as does Jimmy McGriff on this recording. I have never been a fan of Hank Crawfords 16th note playing but his 8th note lines have a killin' laid back feel to them. Listen to this clip from the beginning and listen to how the organ play lays back and then Hank when he comes in..........

 

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There are interactive apps and programs that allow you to tap a keyboard or midi while following a written beat pattern,
besides being good for reading you can hear and see where your choices come down compare to the beat.
Not the same as playing sax but good for conceiving where you feel it.
I had to 1st play on the beat before purposely moving it around.
 
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